Greetings from Kangerlussuaq! Annie Putman and myself have finally arrived in Greenland after our constantly changing field plans and a chaotic couple of weeks of planning and packing. We are traveling as a part of the iisPACS group (Isotopic Investigation of Sea-ice on Precipitation in the Arctic Climate System), led by Xiahong Feng and Eric Posmentier of Dartmouth College, and John Burkhart of the Norwegian Institute for Air Research. We showed up to some rainy weather but did have a few breaks in the clouds to see the beautiful landscape, which was great for Annie’s first time to Greenland!
During the trip we will be based out in Kangerlussuaq for the first week and then travel to the town of Qaanaaq in Northwest Greenland for the second half. In Kangerlussuaq, I will be continuing the lake research I started during last year’s IGERT Greenland Field Seminar. We will be resamping the same lakes from last year (and the lakes sampled by Xiahong in 2009) and measuring the water’s isotopic composition. By looking at the interannual variability of the lake water composition along with weather observations for the region, we can gain a greater understanding of the local hydrologic cycle, especially the processes of evaporation and transpiration.
For the second half of the trip, we will travel north to the town of Qaanaaq for the iisPACS project. In Qaanaaq, we are very excited to meet and work with school teacher, Dan Daorana Normann, and his students. Qaanaaq is a very important site for us since it has a high storm frequency and is at a very high latitude. We will be setting up a weather station at their school for continuous weather information and setting up a precipitation collector where rain and snow events will be collected by Dan and his students to be sent to Dartmouth College to measure the isotopic composition. We look forward to sharing our knowledge of meteorology and climate dynamics along with learning from their vast knowledge base to gain a better understanding of the region. This site will help us greatly towards our goal of understanding the link of sea ice extent and precipitation in the Arctic and the potential effects of climate change.